Chapter 4: Caffeine and Tea

Caffeine occurs naturally in tea, although in smaller proportions than in coffee, chocolate or cola drinks. A mild stimulant, it accounts for tea’s reputation as a beverage that clears the mind and lifts the spirit. On average, a six-ounce cup of steeped tea has about forty milligrams of caffeine — less than half the amount in a cup of brewed coffee. The greatest concentration of caffeine is found in the bud and first two leaves of the tea bush.

Caffeine Content

Tea types vary in the amount of caffeine they contain. On average, here's how various tea types stack up to coffee.

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The Decaffeination Process

All kinds of tea can be decaffeinated, although not completely: decaffeinated tea retains about 3 percent of its original caffeine content, or 0.4 percent of its total dry weight. Manufacturers of tea can choose between chemical extraction of caffeine with ethyl acetate (similar to the process used to decaffeinate coffee), or high-pressure extraction with carbon dioxide, an odorless, flavorless, harmless gas.

The Republic of Tea offers a varied selection of fine naturally decaffeinated teas for our Citizens who desire the pleasures of tea with just a trace amount of caffeine. We use the more environmentally friendly, chemical-free, high-pressure extraction method utilizing naturally occurring carbon dioxide. Caffeine is selectively eliminated from the tea without the use of any commercial chemical extraction methods, conserving flavor, color and beneficial components (such as antioxidants). This costly method is the only one used at The Republic of Tea ensuring that quality expectations are met.

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